Fries with that salad?
Most people struggle to refuse food in the company of others and saying no to cheese and chips isn’t as easy as it seems.
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“Being fussy about food is often interpreted as arrogance. Humans connect by being the same and anything that makes you feel different makes you feel insecure. Ordering salad instead of pizza during a work lunch can make people feel uneasy as they are not doing as everyone else,” explains nutritionist Marisa Peer, who also puts this lack of confidence down to our fear of being different. “Look around you. Most people you see will have been on a diet — so why should you feel undermined by your decisions?”
Confidence, both physical and mental is required to change your eating habits.
“Losing weight and becoming more physically active will make you feel and look better. When you feel good and are happy with the way you look, you will automatically gain confidence. From there it’s about turning it into a way of life.
But you have to talk yourself thin: “In order to maintain this newfound confidence you must keep talking to yourself. Think of it as bio-feedback. Your body wants to look good so you make healthier choices but then you must train your mind to resist temptation. The mind responds to emotion, being automatically drawn towards pleasure and away from pain. If you’re depressed, it’ll send signals to make you reach for the nearest doughnut, associating this with childhood memories of comfort and pleasure.”
Resisting the urge to reach for cake requires motivation and desire, whether this is the desire to feel good or fit into a pair of skinny jeans. Setting yourself realistic goals will make the desire to eat unhealthily go away.
“Ongoing communication with the mind and body is essential. Building up the confidence to listen to what your body — not your mind— wants is key. Once you achieve that point it’s unlikely you’ll reach for that chocolate anytime soon,” promises Peer.